PODCAST: 2023 Colorado State Football Preview

PODCAST: 2023 Colorado State Football Preview How much will the Rams improve in Year 2 under Jay Norvell? Contact/Follow @MWCwire Is a bowl game a possibility? Jeremy and Matt are back to give their in-depth preview of the Colorado State Rams under …

PODCAST: 2023 Colorado State Football Preview


How much will the Rams improve in Year 2 under Jay Norvell?


Contact/Follow @MWCwire

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Is a bowl game a possibility?

Jeremy and Matt are back to give their in-depth preview of the Colorado State Rams under Jay Norvell’s second year in Fort Collins.

The biggest question is the offensive line that was not great last year, replaces four starters and used the portal to fill the gaps. They have potential with QB Clay Millen and WR Tory Horton to take the next step and score lots of points.

You can find the Mountain West Wire podcast below or subscribe to the show via Stitcher Radio,ย TuneIn,ย Spotify,ย iTunes, and more. Listen in, subscribe and rate it and let us know what you think!

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Mountain West Football: Ranking The 2023 Non-Conference Games, #10 to #1

The Mountain West has 49 non-conference games to play in 2023. These are the ten which you definitely won’t want to miss.

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Mountain West Football: Ranking The 2023 Non-Conference Games, #10 to #1


The Mountain West has 49 non-conference games to play in 2023. These are the ten which you definitely won’t want to miss.


Contact/Follow @MWCwire

Must-see games from top to bottom.

10. James Madison vs. Utah State

Why the game might be a drag: The Dukes had a very successful debut season at the FBS level and while they’ll have to replace Sun Belt offensive player of the year Todd Centeio at quarterback, they return lots of talent on defense and could frustrate the Aggies as they try to turn the page on an uneven 2022.

Why the game might be more interesting than you think: Utah State probably won’t be as inconsistent as they often appeared to be last year and, for as strong as JMU was out of the gate, it’s worth noting that two of their three losses came on the road. Heading west to Maverik Stadium is going to be a tough assignment.

One player worth tuning in for: DL James Carpenter

9. Boise State vs. Memphis

Why the game might be a drag: The Tigers were merely okay in 2022 and often had trouble containing the stronger offenses on their schedule. Considering that the Broncos re-established their running game in the second half of last year while cementing an up-and-comer at quarterback, Boise State might just fit that bill, too.

Why the game might be more interesting than you think: Memphis might have been a little better last season than its record suggests because they finished 0-4 in games decided by eight or fewer points. If they can find more consistency on defense, in particular, Boise State could find themselves in a real fight on the road.

One player worth tuning in for: DL Jaylon Allen

8. Fresno State vs. Purdue

Why the game might be a drag: Purdue landed in the Big Ten title game last year, but that owed more to a weak West division than anything and now they’ll have to replace five NFL Draft picks with a new first-time head coach. Fresno State is replacing plenty of players itself, of course, but they could be in a prime position to secure a road victory if the Boilermakers struggle to identify new impact playmakers.

Why the game might be more interesting than you think: Jeff Tedford knows offense, of course, but new Boilermakers head coach Ryan Walters made his name as a defensive guru at Missouri and Illinois. That contrast of styles, not to mention likely new QB1 Hudson Card, could mean the Bulldogs will be put to the test.

One player worth tuning in for: RB Devin Mockobee

7. Colorado State vs. Colorado

Why the game might be a drag: Love it or hate it, you can’t deny that new Colorado head coach Deion Sanders has brought a ton of talent to Boulder through the transfer portal. That star power, plus a hostile Folsom Field crowd, could propel the Buffaloes to their sixth straight win over the rival Rams.

Why the game might be more interesting than you think: Beyond the fact that the Rocky Mountain Showdown is back after a four-year hiatus, what are the Buffaloes actually going to look like with so much roster turnover? And what happens if they look shaky against a Rams team that will be motivated to silence the hype? That possibility alone might be worth the price of admission.

One player worth tuning in for: QB Shedeur Sanders

6. UCLA vs. San Diego State

Why the game might be a drag: The Aztecs have generally been successful against Pac-12 opponents in recent years, but they faltered against both Arizona and Utah in 2022. If the offense gets off to another slow start, the Bruins still have enough talent of their own on that side of the ball to keep the home team at arm’s length for four quarters.

Why the game might be more interesting than you think: It could be a defensive duel because, by SP+ at least, the Bruins and Aztecs project to be of similar quality there. UCLA might have more talent overall on paper, but San Diego State has frustrated Chip Kelly’s offense before.

One player worth tuning in for: LB Darius Muasau

5. Oregon State vs. San Jose State

Why the game might be a drag: The Beavers are riding high headed into 2023 and should feature a powerful and balanced offense. The Spartans, meanwhile, are replacing just enough stars on defense that OSU could set the tone early if SJSU’s newcomers aren’t ready for the limelight.

Why the game might be more interesting than you think: Well, San Jose State should once again possess a pretty good offense of their own. Provided that they can protect Chevan Cordeiro, the Spartans could be up to the task of matching the Beavers on the scoreboard and vying for an upset bid at home.

One player worth tuning in for: RB Damien Martinez

4. UCF vs. Boise State

Why the game might be a drag: UCF has come down a bit from their 2017-18 peak, but they remain plenty potent with experienced hands on both sides of the ball headed into 2023. If the Broncos can’t effectively reinforce their pass rush and secondary, the Knights could have their way on the blue.

Why the game might be more interesting than you think: For one, the Broncos will want to make sure the Knights know their real place in the overall pecking order despite a move up to the Big 12. They’ll also want to turn things around from their loss in Orlando two years ago and prove that last year’s second-half surge was no joke.

One player worth tuning in for: DL Ricky Barber

3. San Diego State vs. Oregon State

Why the game might be a drag: The Beavers are a trendy dark horse to make a lot of noise in the Pac-12 and the Aztecs will have to contend with one of the nation’s best offensive lines without the established star power of Jonah Tavai and Keshawn Banks. In that way, this game could look a lot like last year’s lopsided defeated at Utah.

Why the game might be more interesting than you think: If both offenses are cooking, it could be a race to 35 or 40 points that determines who will come out on top, sort of like last year’s game between Oregon State and Fresno State.

One player worth tuning in for: OL Jake Levengood

2. Air Force vs. Army

Why the game might be a drag: If you’re not a fan of knock-down, drag-’em-out, defensive fist fights, you probably won’t enjoy the Falcons and Black Knights powering up and down the field with their respective ground attacks while the game clock flies.

Why the game might be more interesting than you think: The last five games between these two teams have been decided by a total of 23 points. Also,

One player worth tuning in for: LB Leo Lowin

1. Boise State vs. Washington

Why the game might be a drag: A pair of one-score losses was the only thing that kept the Huskies from an undefeated season last year and they remain flush with talent on offense. If the Broncos can’t fire on all cylinders for sixty minutes, UW could run away with it.

Why the game might be more interesting than you think: It’s the likeliest game to feature two top 25 teams of any on this entire list and it could be an offensive showcase if both sides bring their A-game. Points galore on a national broadcast? Sign us up.

One player worth tuning in for: QB Michael Penix Jr.

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Mountain West Football: Ranking The 2023 Non-Conference Games, #19 to #11

The Mountain West has 49 non-conference games on the collective schedule this fall. These ten games are worthy of your attention.

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Mountain West Football: Ranking The 2023 Non-Conference Games, #19 to #11


The Mountain West has 49 non-conference games on the collective schedule this fall. These ten games are worthy of your attention.


Contact/Follow @MWCwire

Lots of fun to be had in this bunch.

19. Colorado State vs. Middle Tennessee State

Why the game might be a drag: Last year’s matchup between the Rams and Blue Raiders was a lot more lopsided than many expected and, given CSU’s lingering concerns on the offense line and MTSU’s solid defense, it could be dรฉjร  vu in Murfreesboro.

Why the game might be more interesting than you think: Should the Rams figure out how to maintain a more balanced offense, it could end up being a very intriguing chess match between two squads with a healthy amount of upside heading into 2023. This game could be that critical sixth win both will need to earn a bowl bid.

One player worth tuning in for: DB Teldrick Ross

18. San Jose State vs. Toledo

Why the game might be a drag: The 2022 MAC champions often got things done with defense and a powerful running game, both of which could pose problems on the road for a Spartans team that often struggled to protect Chevan Cordeiro and must figure out how to shore up its front seven.

Why the game might be more interesting than you think: If the Spartans are able to replace at least some of their departed stars, their passing game should still have plenty of firepower to make the Glass Bowl tilt a competitive one.

One player worth tuning in for: DB Quinyon Mitchell

17.ย Ohio vs. San Diego State

Why the game might be a drag: Ohio improved on defense as 2022 progressed and San Diego State improved on offense once Jalen Mayden took over at quarterback, but if one or both units come out flat in Week 0, it could be a slog to watch.

Why the game might be more interesting than you think: For starters, it’s a revenge game because the Aztecs will want to rectify their 2018 Frisco Bowl loss to the Bobcats. Beyond that, the SDSU defense will be challenged right away by an Ohio offense engineered by one of the Group of 5’s top quarterbacks (if he’s back to 100% by August, that is).

One player worth tuning in for: QB Kurtis Rourke

16. Fresno State vs. Arizona State

Why the game might be a drag: The Sun Devils weren’t great last year and now must figure out a wide-open quarterback situation and reinforce a defense that gave up over six yards per play and had an anemic pass rush. Sure, the Bulldogs are replacing a lot, too, but Jeff Tedford’s done this before and going to Tempe won’t scare his team.

Why the game might be more interesting than you think: If Fresno State can’t figure out how to stabilize its own pass rush without David Perales and Arizona State can identify a quarterback, the Sun Devils do have a couple of pass catchers who could do some serious damage and help the home team hold serve.

One player worth tuning in for: TE Jalin Conyers

15. Air Force vs. Navy

Why the game might be a drag: The Midshipmen are turning over a new leaf with a new head coach and still don’t have many obvious options to help a middling offense get more explosive in 2023. Against a Falcons defense that looks like it should be plenty strong, it could get ugly.

Why the game might be more interesting than you think: You never know with these Commander-in-Chief Trophy contests. Besides the fabled consistency of the betting under when military academies are involved, the Falcons escaped with a three-point victory last season despite being the better team on paper and now must do it again with a new quarterback and new leading rusher.

One player worth tuning in for: FB Daba Fofana

14. Utah State vs. Iowa

Why the game might be a drag: It means you will have to watch Iowa football.

Why the game might be more interesting than you think: Because it’s Iowa football, you know the Hawkeyes aren’t likely to run away from the Aggies, which means “never say never” when it comes to an upset bid. They’re 3-0 against Mountain West teams since 2017, but they haven’t scored more than 27 points.

One player worth tuning in for: DB Cooper DeJean

13. Kansas vs. Nevada

Why the game might be a drag: The Wolf Pack fell apart as the season progressed while the Jayhawks emerged as one of college football’s best feel-good stories under head coach Lance Leipold. Crazy as it is to say, Kansas might have a significant talent advantage in this game, even in spite of having to travel to Reno.

Why the game might be more interesting than you think: Power 5 teams have rarely had it easy at Mackay Stadium in recent years. Every remembers Brandon Talton’s walk-off field goal to beat Purdue in 2019, but the Wolf Pack also beat Oregon State in 2018 and downed Washington State way back in 2014. Could “Mackay Magic” get conjured again?

One player worth tuning in for: RB Devin Neal

12.ย San Jose State vs. USC

Why the game might be a drag: Though the Spartans hung around and posted a respectable loss the last time these two squads faced off in 2021, Lincoln Riley’s Trojans are a whole other animal and Caleb Williams is a magician.

Why the game might be more interesting than you think: USC created a lot of breaks for itself by generating an absurd amount of turnovers last year, so if SJSU can protect the football and string together a handful of quality drives, they could make build another upset bid at the Coliseum.

One player worth tuning in for: DB Calen Bullock

11. Washington State vs. Colorado State

Why the game might be a drag: The Cougars pummeled the Rams in Pullman last September and restocked the offense around quarterback Cameron Ward by bringing in a haul of transfer pass catchers and a new offensive coordinator. CSU will almost certainly be better, but Wazzu should be, as well.

Why the game might be more interesting than you think: Colorado State could find itself with one of the best defenses in the Mountain West this fall, good enough to slow the Cougars running game and give Clay Millen a chance to create a signature moment at Canvas Stadium.

One player worth tuning in for: DB Jaden Hicks

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PODCAST: 2023 Goals For Each Mountain West Team

PODCAST: 2023 Goals For Each Mountain West Team What achievements need to happen? Contact/Follow @MWCwire Goals and expectations. Jeremy and Matt are back to discuss goals and expectations for each Mountain West team for this upcoming season. Also, …

PODCAST: 2023 Goals For Each Mountain West Team


What achievements need to happen?


Contact/Follow @MWCwire

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Goals and expectations.

Jeremy and Matt are back to discuss goals and expectations for each Mountain West team for this upcoming season. Also, we read through some of our user responses for goals for their favorite team

Plus, they get to the TV schedule and break down those types of games which include multiple games on broadcast TV.

You can find the Mountain West Wire podcast below or subscribe to the show via Stitcher Radio,ย TuneIn,ย Spotify,ย iTunes, and more. Listen in, subscribe and rate it and let us know what you think!

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Mountain West Football: Ranking The 2023 Non-Conference Games, #29 to #20

The Mountain West has 49 non-conference games on the docket in 2023. These ten games may pique your interest for a number of reasons.

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Mountain West Football: Ranking The 2023 Non-Conference Games, #29 to #20


The Mountain West has 49 non-conference games on the docket in 2023. These ten games may pique your interest for a number of reasons.


Contact/Follow @MWCwire

These contests seem likely to go one particular way, but you never know.

29. North Dakota vs. Boise State

Why the game might be a drag: The Broncos have tended to handle FCS opponents with ease over the years, even good ones like the Tennessee-Martin squad they defeated in 2022, so while the Fighting Hawks might be a top-25 team themselves this fall, they may not have the talent to make the game on the blue competitive.

Why the game might be more interesting than you think: What happens if the Boise State offense regresses? They did beat UTM by 23 last year, but the Broncos did so while averaging just 4.61 yards per play, a low figure surpassed only by their disaster at UTEP. While it doesn’t seem likely those struggles will creep back in, UND could be a good enough team to threaten an upset.

One player worth tuning in for: WR Bo Belquist

28. UNLV vs. UTEP

Why the game might be a drag: UNLV has struggled to win on the road in recent years, winning just one game away from Allegiant Stadium in both 2021 and 2022. The Miners aren’t anyone’s idea of a world-beater at present, El Paso is a tough place to play and they have the defensive talent to cause headaches for a promising Rebels offense.

Why the game might be more interesting than you think: This could actually be a very good litmus test for both squads. Both the Rebels and Miners want to reach a bowl in 2023 and challenge for more, meaning that this may well be considered a “must-win” to reach those goals.

One player worth tuning in for: DL Praise Amaewhule

27. Stanford vs. Hawaii

Why the game might be a drag: The Cardinal are starting over in a lot of respects after Troy Taylor took over for David Shaw as head coach: New quarterback, new secondary, and more. Considering that Hawaii is also still working its way back to opening a competitive window, this could be a messy affair.

Why the game might be more interesting than you think: You could make the argument that, given the offensive background that both Taylor and Timmy Chang bring to the table, they’ll find a way to figure things out on that side of the ball. If that ends up being the case, this could be a showcase for lots of points.

One player worth tuning in for: TE Benjamin Yurosek

26. Utah State vs. UConn

Why the game might be a drag: The Aggies didn’t finish last year on a strong note and the Huskies might… actually be on the rise? Traveling to the east coast is also never easy for any Mountain West team, so if Utah State hasn’t figured out how to replenish its depth with reliable athletes, UConn could be capable of turning the tables on last year’s result and hanging onto a lead this time.

Why the game might be more interesting than you think: The UConn offense has plenty to figure out — navigating an uncertain quarterback situation and replacing key graduations and transfer portal departures — so it’s not a given that they’ll be able to hold onto last year’s gains. Utah State still has plenty of talent itself despite its portal losses, so winning in Connecticut isn’t a hopeless endeavor by any stretch.

One player worth tuning in for: OL Christian Haynes

25.ย Hawaii vs. Oregon

Why the game might be a drag: The Ducks are perennial contenders for a berth in the Rose Bowl and the Warriors might have too many questions on defense to keep them from hanging 50 on them like Michigan did last season.

Why the game might be more interesting than you think: The few times that Oregon most struggled last year involved opponents with strong offenses, particularly Georgia and Washington, so while it’s a longshot that Hawaii will fit that bill, getting Brayden Schager’s A-game could be the impetus for a serious challenge at Autzen.

One player worth tuning in for: RB Noah Whittington

24. Hawaii vs. Vanderbilt

Why the game might be a drag: It was evident early on that the Commodores had superior athletes in a big-time win on the islands last season. A year later, there isn’t much reason to think that isn’t still the caseย and the rematch is in Nashville.

Why the game might be more interesting than you think: Vanderbilt might be improved, but they aren’t perfect and must replace at least one star defender in 2023. If Hawaii’s run-and-shoot can hit the ground running, it could pose problems for the home team.

One player worth tuning in for: QB AJ Swann

23. Texas Tech vs. Wyoming

Why the game might be a drag: The Red Raiders had a pretty good offense last year, posting an average of 34.2 points per game en route to a respectable 8-5 record under new head coach Joey McGuire. That in itself could pose a serious problem to a Wyoming team that is still dealing with years-old issues on that side of the ball itself.

Why the game might be more interesting than you think: You know Laramie is going to be hyped to take down a Power 5 opponent in front of a national audience. War Memorial Stadium also happens to be a tough place for non-conference opponents to play since Wyoming has won their last six games against such foes dating back to 2019.

One player worth tuning in for: DB Malik Dunlap

22. Wyoming vs. Texas

Why the game might be a drag: No, Texas isn’t back, but the Longhorns will still have a considerable talent advantage over the Cowboys going into this game and had no trouble dispatching the likes of Louisiana-Monroe and UTSA in non-conference play last season.

Why the game might be more interesting than you think: What if the Texas offense struggles? There’s no doubt that defense will be Wyoming’s top calling card in 2023, but UT quarterback Quinn Ewers looked shaky at times in his first year at the helm and there’s a non-zero chance that a subpar performance could spur an upset big deep in the heart of the Lone Star State.

One player worth tuning in for: WR Xavier Worthy

21. Appalachian State vs. Wyoming

Why the game might be a drag: Though App State will have to replace its quarterback, top running back, and top overall defender in 2023, they have a track record of developing strong offenses and that could be a problem should Wyoming be forced to play in a shootout.

Why the game might be more interesting than you think: Which App State team will show up in Laramie? The Mountaineers looked dominant at times last year and erratic at others, which explains why they were just 2-5 in games decided by eight or fewer points, and that kind of unpredictability can often make for must-see television.

One player worth tuning in for: RB Nate Noel

20. Nevada vs. USC

Why the game might be a drag: The Trojans should challenge for a spot in the College Football Playoff this year. The Wolf Pack might still be in the middle of an overall rebuild. That disparity could lead to a lopsided romp at the Coliseum.

Why the game might be more interesting than you think: Nevada has some questions to resolve, but notย that many questions. If they’re able to shore up at safety and along the defensive line, the defense might be able to lead the way toward an unthinkable upset.

One player worth tuning in for: QB Caleb Williams

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Mountain West Football: CBS, Fox Television Schedule Released

Mountain West football fans can expect to tune into CBS and Fox early and often this fall for the conference’s national TV package.

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Mountain West Football: CBS, Fox Television Schedule Released


Mountain West football fans can expect to tune into CBS and Fox early and often this fall for the conference’s national TV package.


Contact/Follow @MattK_FS & @MWCwire

Mark your calendars.

Mountain West fans still have 89 days until Week 0 gets college football season started but, after releasing the overall schedule back in March, fall plans came a little more into focus today with the release of television schedules for both CBS and Fox.

While you can expect the majority of CBS-aired games to happen on CBS Sports Network like usual, a handful of Mountain West contests will take place on over-the-air CBS. That includes Wyoming’s season opener against Texas Tech on September 2, San Jose State’s home date with Oregon State on September 3, and the Commander-in-Chief’s battle between Air Force and Navy on October 21. The conference notes that those games will also be available to stream on Paramount+.

Additionally, a few games on the schedule have moved to Friday nights, the biggest of them being the annual Border War clash between Colorado State and Wyoming, which will take place in Laramie this season on November 3. Air Force will play a total of three Friday games, the most of any team in the conference, while the Cowboys will actually play twice in a row under the Friday night lights in November, traveling to UNLV on the 10th after their home date against the Rams.

The Mountain West football championship game is scheduled for Saturday, December 2. It will kick off at 12:00 PM Pacific/1:00 PM Mountain/10:00 AM Hawaii time on Fox.

Air Force

Saturday, September 2 – vs. Robert Morris
Saturday, September 9 – at Sam Houston State,ย 6:00 PM MT, CBSSN
Friday, September 15 – vs. Utah State,ย 6:00 PM MT, CBSSN
Friday, September 22 – at San Jose State, 7:30 PM PT, FS1
Saturday, September 30 – vs. San Diego State, 6:00 PM MT, CBSSN
Saturday, October 14 – vs. Wyoming, 5:00 PM MT, CBSSN
Saturday, October 21 – at Navy,ย 10:00 AM MT, CBS
Saturday, October 28 – at Colorado State, 5:00 PM MT, CBSSN
Saturday, November 4 – vs. Army (in Denver), 12:30 PM MT, CBSSN
Saturday, November 11 – at Hawaii
Saturday, November 18 – vs. UNLV, 1:30 PM MT, CBSSN
Friday, November 24 – at Boise State, 2:00 PM MT, FS1

Boise State

Saturday, September 2 – at Washington,ย 1:30 PM MT, ABC
Saturday, September 9 – vs. UCF,ย 5:00 PM MT, FS1
Saturday, September 16 – vs. North Dakota,ย 10:00 AM MT, FS1
Friday, September 22 – at San Diego State, 7:30 PM PT, CBSSN
Saturday, September 30 – at Memphis
Saturday, October 7 – vs. San Jose State, 6:00 PM MT, CBSSN
Saturday, October 14 – at Colorado State, Kickoff TBD, Fox networks
Saturday, October 28 – vs. Wyoming, Kickoff TBD, Fox networks
Saturday, November 4 – at Fresno State, 7:00 PM PT, CBSSN
Saturday, November 11 – vs. New Mexico, Kickoff TBD, Fox networks
Saturday, November 18 – at Utah State, 5:00 PM MT, CBSSN
Friday, November 24 – vs. Air Force,ย 2:00 PM MT, FS1

Colorado State

Saturday, September 2 – vs. Washington State,ย 5:00 PM MT, CBSSN
Saturday, September 16 – at Colorado,ย 8:00 PM MT, ESPN
Saturday, September 23 – at Middle Tennessee State, 5:00 PM MT, ESPN networks
Saturday, September 30 – vs. Utah Tech
Saturday, October 7 – at Utah State
Saturday, October 14 – vs. Boise State, Kickoff TBD, Fox networks
Saturday, October 21 – at UNLV
Saturday, October 28 – vs. Air Force, 5:00 PM MT, CBSSN
Friday, November 3 – at Wyoming, 6:00 PM MT, CBSSN
Saturday, November 11 – vs. San Diego State, 5:00 PM MT, CBSSN
Saturday, November 18 – vs. Nevada
Saturday, November 25 – at Hawaii

Fresno State

Saturday, September 2 – at Purdue,ย 9:00 AM PT, Big Ten Network
Saturday, September 9 – vs. Eastern Washington
Saturday, September 16 – at Arizona State, 7:30 PM PT, FS1
Saturday, September 23 – vs. Kent State, 7:30 PM PT, CBSSN
Saturday, September 30 – vs. Nevada, Kickoff TBD, Fox networks
Saturday, October 7 – at Wyoming, Kickoff TBD, Fox networks
Friday, October 13 – at Utah State, 6:00 PM MT, CBSSN
Saturday, October 28 – vs. UNLV, Kickoff TBD, Fox networks
Saturday, November 4 – vs. Boise State, 7:00 PM PT, CBSSN
Saturday, November 11 – at San Jose State, 7:30 PM PT, CBSSN
Saturday, November 18 – vs. New Mexico, Kickoff TBD, Fox networks
Saturday, November 25 – at San Diego State, Kickoff TBD, Fox networks

Hawaii

Saturday, August 26 – at Vanderbilt,ย 1:00 PM HT, SEC Network
Friday, September 1 – vs. Stanford,ย 5:00 PM HT, CBSSN
Saturday, September 9 – vs. Albany
Saturday, September 16 – at Oregon, 2:00 PM HT, Pac-12 Network
Saturday, September 23 – vs. New Mexico State
Saturday, September 30 – at UNLV
Saturday, October 14 – vs. San Diego State, 5:00 PM HT, CBSSN
Saturday, October 21 – at New Mexico
Saturday, October 28 – vs. San Jose State
Saturday, November 4 – at Nevada
Saturday, November 11 – vs. Air Force
Saturday, November 18 – at Wyoming
Saturday, November 25 – vs. Colorado State

Nevada

Saturday, September 2 – at USC, 3:30 PM PT, Pac-12 Network
Saturday, September 9 – vs. Idaho
Saturday, September 16 – vs. Kansas,ย 7:30 PM PT, CBSSN
Saturday, September 23 – at Texas State
Saturday, September 30 – at Fresno State,ย Kickoff TBD, Fox networks
Saturday, October 14 – vs. UNLV
Saturday, October 21 – at San Diego State, Kickoff TBD, Fox networks
Saturday, October 28 – vs. New Mexico, 7:30 PM PT, CBSSN
Saturday, November 4 – vs. Hawaii
Saturday, November 11 – at Utah State
Saturday, November 18 – at Colorado State
Saturday, November 25 – vs. Wyoming, 6:00 PM PT, CBSSN

New Mexico

Saturday, September 2 – at Texas A&M, 5:00 PM MT, ESPN
Saturday, September 9 – vs. Tennessee Tech
Saturday, September 16 – vs. New Mexico State
Saturday, September 23 – at Massachusetts
Saturday, September 30 – at Wyoming
Saturday, October 14 – vs. San Jose State
Saturday, October 21 – vs. Hawaii
Saturday, October 28 – at Nevada, 7:30 PM PT, CBSSN
Saturday, November 4 – vs. UNLV
Saturday, November 11 – at Boise State, Kickoff TBD, Fox networks
Saturday, November 18 – at Fresno State, Kickoff TBD, Fox networks
Friday, November 24 – vs. Utah State, 1:30 PM MT, CBSSN

San Diego State

Saturday, August 26 – vs. Ohio,ย 4:00 PM PT, FS1
Saturday, September 2 – vs. Idaho State,ย 7:30 PM PT, CBSSN
Saturday, September 9 – vs. UCLA,ย 4:30 PM PT, CBS
Saturday, September 16 – at Oregon State, 12:30 PM, FS1
Friday, September 22 – vs. Boise State, 7:30 PM PT, CBSSN
Saturday, September 30 – at Air Force, 6:00 PM MT, CBSSN
Saturday, October 14 – at Hawaii, 5:00 PM HT, CBSSN
Saturday, October 21 – vs. Nevada, Kickoff TBD, Fox networks
Saturday, November 4 – vs. Utah State, Kickoff TBD, Fox networks
Saturday, November 11 – at Colorado State, 5:00 PM MT, CBSSN
Saturday, November 18 – at San Jose State, 7:30 PM PT, CBSSN
Saturday, November 25 – vs. Fresno State, Kickoff TBD, Fox networks

San Jose State

Saturday, August 26 – at USC, 5:00 PM PT, Pac-12 Network
Sunday, September 3 – vs. Oregon State,ย 12:30 PM PT, CBS
Saturday, September 9 – vs. Cal Poly
Saturday, September 16 – at Toledo, 4:00 PM PT, ESPN+
Friday, September 22 – vs. Air Force, 7:30 PM PT, FS1
Saturday, October 7 – at Boise State, 6:00 PM MT, CBSSN
Saturday, October 14 – at New Mexico
Saturday, October 21 – vs. Utah State, 4:00 PM PT, CBSSN
Saturday, October 28 – at Hawaii
Saturday, November 11 – vs. Fresno State, 7:30 PM PT, CBSSN
Saturday, November 18 – vs. San Diego State, 7:30 PM PT, CBSSN
Saturday, November 25 – at UNLV

UNLV

Saturday, September 2 – vs. Bryant
Saturday, September 9 – at Michigan, 12:30 PM PT, CBS
Saturday, September 16 – vs. Vanderbilt,ย 4:00 PM PT, CBSSN
Saturday, September 23 – at UTEP, Kickoff TBD, ESPN networks
Saturday, September 30 – vs. Hawaii
Saturday, October 14 – at Nevada
Saturday, October 21 – vs. Colorado State
Saturday, October 28 – at Fresno State, Kickoff TBD, Fox networks
Saturday, November 4 – at New Mexico
Friday, November 10 – vs. Wyoming, 7:45 PM PT, FS1
Saturday, November 18 – at Air Force, 1:30 PM MT, CBSSN
Saturday, November 25 – vs. San Jose State

Utah State

Saturday, September 2 – at Iowa
Saturday, September 9 – vs. Idaho State
Saturday, September 16 – at Air Force,ย 6:00 PM MT, CBSSN
Saturday, September 23 – vs. James Madison
Saturday, September 30 – at UConn
Saturday, October 7 – vs. Colorado State
Friday, October 13 – vs. Fresno State, 6:00 PM MT, CBSSN
Saturday, October 21 – at San Jose State, 4:00 PM PT, CBSSN
Saturday, November 4 – at San Diego State, Kickoff TBD, Fox networks
Saturday, November 11 – vs. Nevada
Saturday, November 18 – vs. Boise State, 5:00 PM MT, CBSSN
Friday, November 24 – at New Mexico, 1:30 PM MT, CBSSN

Wyoming

Saturday, September 2 – vs. Texas Tech,ย 5:30 PM MT, CBS
Saturday, September 9 – vs. Portland State
Saturday, September 16 – at Texas,ย 6:00 PM MT, Longhorn Network
Saturday, September 23 – vs. Appalachian State, 5:00 PM MT, CBSSN
Saturday, September 30 – vs. New Mexico
Saturday, October 7 – vs. Fresno State, Kickoff TBD, Fox networks
Saturday, October 14 – at Air Force, 5:00 PM MT, CBSSN
Saturday, October 28 – at Boise State, Kickoff TBD, Fox networks
Friday, November 3 – vs. Colorado State, 6:00 PM MT, CBSSN
Friday, November 10 – at UNLV, 7:45 PM PT, FS1
Saturday, November 18 – vs. Hawaii
Saturday, November 25 – at Nevada, 6:00 PM PT, CBSSN

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Mountain West Football: Ranking The 2023 Non-Conference Games, #39 to #30

The Mountain West has 49 non-conference games on the schedule this season. These ten games could surprise us with entertainment value.

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Mountain West Football: Ranking The 2023 Non-Conference Games, #39 to #30


The Mountain West has 49 non-conference games on the schedule this season. These ten games could surprise us with entertainment value.


Contact/Follow @MWCwire

Some mild intrigue here.

39. Idaho vs. Nevada

Why the game might be a drag: The Wolf Pack fell into a malaise last year which included a loss to FCS Incarnate Word. If the quarterback competition hasn’t been resolved and the defense struggles to replace its departed stars, the Vandals, who made the FCS playoff themselves in 2022, could make it two years in a row that Nevada suffers that kind of defeat.

Why the game might be more interesting than you think: What if Nevada gets its offense on track, though? In that case, you could have a shootout on your hands with Jerry Rice Award winner Gevani McCoy on one side and one of Brendon Lewis or Shane Illingworth on the other.

One player worth tuning in for: WR Hayden Hatten

38. Idaho State vs. Utah State

Why the game might be a drag: The Bengals’ second appearance on this list may not be much more inspiring than the first if Utah State is able to reign in the turnovers that plagued them in 2022 and find some answers on defense. The Aggies could win this one in a walk.

Why the game might be more interesting than you think: No, Idaho State probably isn’t as good on paper as Weber State this time last year, but the erratic Aggies had one of their worst games of 2022 against a FCS opponent.

One player worth tuning in for: DL Cortland Horton

37. Nevada vs. Texas State

Why the game might be a drag: Both teams are in the midst of a rebuild and with so many new pieces in tow, it could be a slog if things don’t come together as envisioned.

Why the game might be more interesting than you think: What if one or both teams is farther ahead in that rebuild than expected? Both the Wolf Pack and Bobcats have hit the transfer portal hard to shore up their depth and new Texas State head coach G.J. Kinne has an offensive background that could make this an interesting chess match with Nevada’s own Ken Wilson.

One player worth tuning in for: LB Jordan Revels

36. UNLV vs. Michigan

Why the game might be a drag: Not only have the Rebels not beaten a Big Ten team since 2003, these Wolverines have been in the College Football Playoff two years in a row. It could end up looking a lot like the lopsided wins Michigan had over Hawaii and Colorado State last season, which is no fun at all for Mountain West football fans.

Why the game might be more interesting than you think: The Rebels have a strong case to say they’re better than last year’s Warriors and Rams and, thus, more capable of hanging around in Ann Arbor. Maybe they get saddled with a 20-point loss rather than a 40-point one, but UNLV could make some noise.

One player worth tuning in for: RB Blake Corum

35. New Mexico vs. UMass

Why the game might be a drag: This game represents a matchup between the two teams who finished at the bottom of the SP+ rankings last season. We might end up with a puntfest on our hands, though at least Aaron Rodriguez would get a showcase to demonstrate his prowess in that scenario.

Why the game might be more interesting than you think: There’s nowhere to go but up, right? The Lobos could be much improved on offense and both sides have talented young defenders that could make this a surprisingly tough battle.

One player worth tuning in for: DB Jordan Mahoney

34. New Mexico vs. Texas A&M

Why the game might be a drag: The Lobos have been shut out in each of their last two trips to SEC country, so while the Aggies had a disastrous 2022, the talent gap between these two teams is still as wide as ever and the 12th Man will be rocking. Regardless, UNM will get a big paycheck for their appearance.

Why the game might be more interesting than you think: What if A&M’s 2022 campaign wasn’t a fluke? Even with new offensive coordinator Bobby Petrino in tow, this is still an Aggies team that managed just 20 points against UMass at home and lost to Appalachian State at Kyle Field, as well. Why couldn’t the Lobos pull a shocker themselves?

One player worth tuning in for: WR Ainias Smith

33. New Mexico State vs. New Mexico

Why the game might be a drag: The Aggies entrenched themselves as New Mexico’s superior program in 2022 by holding the Lobos to nine points, the fewest in a game against NMSU since 1976, and claiming a bowl bid while their hated rivals flailed. If UNM hasn’t figured out its offensive woes, 2023 could very easily be a repeat.

Why the game might be more interesting than you think: It’s a rivalry game that’s often been a hotly contested one because six of the last eight clashes between the Aggies and Lobos have been decided by nine or fewer points. UNM has also won four of their last five at home against NMSU, so you know they’ll be motivated to reclaim bragging rights in the Land of Enchantment.

One player worth tuning in for: DL Izaiah Reed

32. Eastern Washington vs. Fresno State

Why the game might be a drag: The Bulldogs typically haven’t had much trouble dispatching FCS opponents in recent years and the Eagles just suffered their first losing season since 2006. Without the high-flying offense that made them one of the best FCS programs in the country, the Red Wave could be on hand for a rout.

Why the game might be more interesting than you think: What happens if Fresno State’s revamped offense is slow to come together? In theory, the Bulldogs should have superior talent on both sides of the ball, but a slow start could make this a lot more intriguing than it would seem at first glance.

One player worth tuning in for: WR Efton Chism III

31. Kent State vs. Fresno State

Why the game might be a drag: The Golden Flashes weren’t a bad team in 2022 but their head coach bolted to join Deion Sanders in Colorado and they have been absolutely gutted by the transfer portal. They return the lowest amount of production from last season of any FBS team and project to be dead last by SP+, so the Bulldogs might legitimately expect to win this one by 30 or more.

Why the game might be more interesting than you think: It isn’t unheard of these days that a team undergoes a great deal of upheaval but remains competitive. Kent State still returns a few quality pieces on defense as well as speedy running back Xavier Williams, and you can never underestimate the power of MACtion too much.

One player worth tuning in for: DL CJ West

30. Vanderbilt vs. UNLV

Why the game might be a drag: The Commodores weren’t great in 2022, but they were much improved from the year before and hammered Hawaii on the islands on their way to a 3-1 record in non-conference play. They won’t be fazed by a trip to Vegas and have the athletes to win another rout should UNLV get caught unprepared.

Why the game might be more interesting than you think: If both teams hit their stride early, it’s not hard to envision a bonanza of points and one of the more underrated matchups anywhere in Mountain West non-conference action.

One player worth tuning in for: WR Will Sheppard

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Mountain West Football: Ranking The 2023 Non-Conference Games, #49 to #40

The Mountain West has 49 non-conference games on the collective schedule this fall. We rank them all, beginning at the bottom of the list.

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Mountain West Football: Ranking The 2023 Non-Conference Games, #49 to #40


The Mountain West has 49 non-conference games on the collective schedule this fall. We rank them all, beginning at the bottom of the list.


Contact/Follow @MWCwire

Not a ton of flash, but there are interesting angles.

49. Robert Morris vs. Air Force

Why the game might be a drag: Even though the Falcons will need to prove they can replace Haaziq Daniels, Brad Roberts, and others, it’s likely they’ll still have a huge talent advantage over a Colonials team which was one of four FCS teams to finish the 2022 season with zero wins. It could be a laugher, but the home team could tap into its depth chart to get a number of players some reps.

Why the game might be more interesting than you think: RMU may not have been quite as abysmal as their record from last year suggests. They had a pair of one-score losses in the first half of 2022, return an all-conference linebacker in the middle of their defense, and also restocked the roster with a number of transfer portal arrivals from the FBS ranks who could spur a turnaround.

One player worth tuning in for: LB Joe Casale

 

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48. Utah Tech vs. Colorado State

Why the game might be a drag: Rams fans may not consider this a drag, but Utah Tech definitely isn’t Sacramento State. The Trailblazers had a down year in 2022 and lost nearly all of their all-WAC players to the transfer portal this offseason (including defensive back Tyrell Grayson, who transferred to… CSU). It could be an uphill climb to competitiveness, which could mean Clay Millen and company will have a field day.

Why the game might be more interesting than you think: After last season’s lopsided loss to a FCS opponent, the Colorado State faithful may not be inclined to take any foe for granted. Given that UTU also returns a pair of all-conference defenders, they could be pesky if the Rams haven’t fully resolved their offensive line woes from last season.

One player worth tuning in for: LB Will Leota

47. Bryant vs. UNLV

Why the game might be a drag: The Bulldogs backslid last season after reaching seven wins in 2021, allowing at least 35 points in seven different contests. That could be very good news for a Rebels offense that looks fully stocked and will be plenty motivated to start the year on a high note.

Why the game might be more interesting than you think: Bryant might possess a pretty potent offense. Quarterback Zevi Eckhaus has thrown 47 touchdowns in his two years as the team’s starter while Anthony Frederick and Ethan Gettman were named FCS All-Americans last year. The Bulldogs took also Florida International to overtime, one of five losses by eight or fewer points, and the Eastern Washington debacle isn’t so far in the past that the Rebels will want to look past Bryant.

One player worth tuning in for: WR/KR Anthony Frederick

46. Tennessee Tech vs. New Mexico

Why the game might be a drag: The Golden Eagles weren’t really competitive against the best teams they faced last year, going 0-5 against Kansas and a quartet of ranked FCS teams. Granted, the Lobos aren’t the Jayhawks and have plenty to prove themselves, but they dispatched Maine with relative ease in 2022 and should be in position to do the same with TTU.

Why the game might be more interesting than you think: If UNM actually struggles again, the flipside of Tennessee Tech’s 2022 fortunes is that they essentially broke even against everyone else on their schedule, finishing the season with five straight games decided by eight or fewer points and going 3-2 in that stretch.

One player worth tuning in for: LB Jacquez McGowan

45. Albany vs. Hawaii

Why the game might be a drag: After making the FCS playoffs back in 2019, Albany hasn’t been able to recapture that form and gave up over 33 points per game last season. Hawaii should also be improved in its second season under Timmy Chang, so last year’s struggles against Duquesne may truly be a thing of the past.

Why the game might be more interesting than you think: The Great Danes have one of the better young quarterbacks in the FCS and will certainly put in the work to rebound from the 1-5 record they had in games decided by eight or fewer points. If anything, this game could evolve into a late-night shootout on the islands.

One player worth tuning in for: QB Reese Poffenbarger

44. Sam Houston State vs. Air Force

Why the game might be a drag: The Bearkats enter the FBS ranks coming off of a 5-4 campaign, which might not sound too bad until you realize they won the FCS national championship game just two years earlier. Their offense was not nearly as potent as it had been during its prior run of success, which could be bad news against a Falcons defense that figures to be stingy.

Why the game might be more interesting than you think: You can’t really count out a team making the move from FCS to FBS. James Madison hit the ground running last year while Liberty, Coastal Carolina, and Appalachian State have all set high bars for themselves. What’s to say SHSU couldn’t do the same by defending its home turf against the Falcons?

One player worth tuning in for: LB Kavian Gaither

43. New Mexico State vs. Hawaii

Why the game might be a drag: These two teams met in Las Cruces last season and the Aggies blew out the Warriors, building a 25-point halftime lead before cruising to a 45-26 victory. On paper, NMSU also figures to be the better team, so there’s a chance not much will have changed.

Why the game might be more interesting than you think: The Aggies do have to replace a ton of talent on defense with Chris Ojoh, Lazarus Williams, Trevor Brohard, and others all gone, meaning that Hawaii’s run-and-shoot could flip the script on last year’s tilt if New Mexico State isn’t prepared.

One player worth tuning in for: QB Diego Pavia

42. Cal Poly vs. San Jose State

Why the game might be a drag: The Beau Baldwin era never really got off the ground in San Luis Obispo and now the Mustangs are starting over without their top offensive contributor from a year ago. Oh, and they also finished dead last among FCS teams in yards per play allowed in 2022, a fact about which the Spartans are surely licking their chops.

Why the game might be more interesting than you think: One thing that Poly may still have in their favor is a passing game that averaged a respectable 7.4 yards per attempt last season and returns starting quarterback Spencer Brasch. If San Jose State struggles to generate a pass rush without Viliami Fehoko and Cade Hall, the Mustangs could definitely hang around.

One player worth tuning in for: LB David Meyer

 

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41. Idaho State vs. San Diego State

Why the game might be a drag: The matchup between these two teams last year was a laugher and things didn’t really get much better for the Bengals from there, finishing 2022 with just one victory. With a new head coach in once again and a roster on hand which includes just six seniors, why wouldn’t it be more of the same this September?

Why the game might be more interesting than you think: Despite losing star linebacker Charles Ike, ISU might have the makings of a solid defense on its hands. If the Aztecs fall into some of the offensive scuffles that plagued them early last season, this game could be much more competitive than expected.

One player worth tuning in for: RB Raiden Hunter

40. Portland State vs. Wyoming

Why the game might be a drag: While PSU will get a couple of key pieces back from injury, the Viks will have to replace stars on both sides of the ball while identifying answers on a defense that allowed a whopping 6.7 yards per play in 2022. The Pokes could take advantage of that weakness and get Laradise rocking in a hurry.

Why the game might be more interesting than you think: The Viks almost knocked off another Mountain West team, San Jose State, in their season opener last year. They also threw a scare into Hawaii in 2021 and will be battle-tested after a road trip to Oregon which opens their 2023 campaign.

One player worth tuning in for: QB Dante Chachere

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Mountain West Football: San Jose State Gains, New Mexico Drops In Updated 2023 Returning Production Rankings

With significant roster shuffling over the last few months, what does the Mountain West look like now in terms of returning production?

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Mountain West Football: San Jose State Gains, New Mexico Drops In Updated 2023 Returning Production Rankings


With significant roster shuffling over the last few months, what does the Mountain West look like now in terms of returning production?


Contact/Follow @MattK_FS & @MWCwire

A decline overall, but some have been hit harder than others.

To go along with the updated SP+ rankings released this morning, ESPN’s Bill Connelly also provided an update on how teams are faring in terms of returning production ahead of the 2023 college football season.

Back in February, one Mountain West team stood head and shoulders above the rest of the conference and while that advantage still holds for the most part, a few other teams saw significant bumps in what they bring back thanks to updated rosters while it became evident in some other places just how significant a toll the transfer portal has taken.

How is the percentage measured? According to Connelly, it considers the following three questions: “How good has your team been recently? How well has it recruited? And perhaps most importantly, who returns from last year’s roster?” Additionally, quarterback production tends to weigh the heaviest of any individual position on offense, accounting for more than one-quarter of production, while defensive backs account for nearly half of the overall figure on defense.

  • 127. Utah State — 41% (41% offense, 42% defense, -13% RP, -24 spots)
  • 109. New Mexico — 53% (78% offense, 28% defense, -11% RP, -48 spots)
  • 91. Fresno State — 57% (50% offense, 64% defense, -2% RP, -7 spots)
  • 83. Hawaii — 58% (53% offense, 63% defense, +11% RP, +39 spots)
  • 81. Air Force — 58% (47% offense, 70% defense, +1% RP, +5 spots)
  • 72. Nevada — 59% (52% offense, 66% defense, +6% RP, +36 spots)
  • 66. San Diego State — 61% (62% offense, 59% defense, +5% RP, +31 spots)
  • 63. Colorado State — 61% (61% offense, 62% defense, -3% RP, -1 spot)
  • 59. Boise State — 62% (69% offense, 56% defense, -5% RP, -10 spots)
  • 54. UNLV — 64% (60% offense, 67% defense, -5% RP, -12 spots)
  • 35. San Jose State — 69% (86% offense, 52% defense, +16% RP, +76 spots)
  • 13. Wyoming — 74% (64% offense, 84% defense, -8% overall RP, -9 spots)

Just as in the winter, Wyoming still leads the way despite a few more departures from the program, but they have some company in the top 40 this time around thanks to San Jose State. They were one of two teams in the Mountain West to see a double-digit increase in overall returning production and made the biggest overall jump anywhere in the conference as a result.

The other team to improve by at least ten percent? That would be Hawaii, which had the lowest RP figure of any Mountain West team back in February but is now considerably closer to the middle, which may be a good sign for the team’s odds of defying prognosticators for the second straight year under Timmy Chang.

The only other teams to get a big boost in returning production are Nevada, thanks largely to a Wolf Pack defense that saw a bump from 54% to 66%, and San Diego State, which saw its defensive production percentage increase from 40% to 59%.

On the whole, however, it may not be surprising to see that there have been corresponding dips elsewhere, none more pronounced than those of New Mexico and Utah State. Both teams have been ravaged by the transfer portal, particularly on defense: The Lobos now return the second-lowest percentage of defensive production in the FBS, ahead of only Western Michigan, while the Aggies’ percentage fell from 66% to 42% after the departures of AJ Vongphachanh, Byron Vaughns, Daniel Grzesiak, and others.

It could be worse, though: As a conference, the Mountain West ranks eighth among the ten FBS conferences, but it is ahead of both the retooled American and the Sun Belt in terms of aggregate returning production at 59.8%.

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Mountain West Football: Wyoming Rises, Nevada Drops In Updated 2023 SP+ Projections

The first update to Bill Connelly’s efficiency metric shuffles the outlook for a number of Mountain West football teams this fall.

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Mountain West Football: Wyoming Rises, Nevada Drops In Updated 2023 SP+ Projections


The first update to Bill Connelly’s efficiency metric shuffles the outlook for a number of Mountain West football teams this fall.


Contact/Follow @MattK_FS & @MWCwire

The conference still has some improvements to make.

After revealing the first set of preseason SP+ rankings back in February, ESPN’s Bill Connelly updated those projections this morning to account for roster updates.

SP+, which measures efficiency on both sides of the ball (success rate, explosiveness, and more) and is adjusted for tempo and quality of opponents, reflects returning production, overall recruiting, and recent history into its ratings. What has changed in the last few months across the Mountain West?

  • 132. New Mexico — #129 offense, #107 defense (no change from February)
  • 124. Hawaii — #114 offense, #119 defense (+7)
  • 118. Colorado State — #127 offense, #77 defense (+1)
  • 116. Utah State — #111 offense, #110 defense (+2)
  • 113. Nevada — #119 offense, #95 defense (-6)
  • 108. UNLV — #98 offense, #109 defense (+1)
  • 97. San Jose State — #97 offense, #93 defense (+6)
  • 92. Wyoming — #121 offense, #62 defense (+9)
  • 85. San Diego State — #110 offense, #56 defense (-5)
  • 81. Air Force — #122 offense, #33 defense (-4)
  • 68. Fresno State — #85 offense, #58 defense (-1)
  • 62. Boise State — #70 offense, #57 defense (+6)

As you can tell, things are still not ideal overall but they are definitely different. At the top of the projections, Boise State leap-frogged defending champion Fresno State thanks to a modestly improved outlook on defense, climbing six spots from 63rd to 57th. The gap between the Broncos and Bulldogs and the next two teams, Air Force and San Diego State, also got a little wider because of slight downgrades to offensive projections for both the Falcons and Aztecs.

The most interesting shakeups are in the middle of the pack. San Jose State enjoyed a bump in its projection at this juncture for the second straight year and Wyoming, after suffering a dip in last year’s first update, made the biggest climb of any team in the Mountain West with a more optimistic projection on defense (68th to 62nd). This may provide a glimpse at the teams SP+ expects to compete for a bowl bid, at the very least.

Farther down the projections, Hawaii got a bit of separation from the FBS cellar with a positive bump on both sides of the ball, an increase of 11 spots on offense and eight on defense. Conversely, Nevada slid behind rival UNLV after plummeting nine spots on offense, suggesting that a quicker resolution to some of last year’s problems, namely at quarterback, will be the key to success.

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